SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS
Answer the following briefly.
1. Did the writer’s pride in aircraft recognition last long? Why/Why not?
Ans. The writer and his friends used to pride themselves for their capability of recognizing an aircraft by its sound. Once, when they went out for a walk, they heard the drone of a plane flying high overhead. Before they could say anything, without even looking up, the professor announced the name of the plane. This was a humbling experience for the writer and his friends.
2. “There was an expression of self-conscious innocence.” Explain the context of the above remark.
Ans. This remark indicates that the Professor was always pretending to be innocent, whereas the real motive somewhere at the back of his mind was to show that he was perfect. When the Corporal said, “the platoon officer
has asked me to nominate someone for________”
everyone thought that some important work was going to be handed down to Quelch. Quelch was also sure in his mind that it was he who would be appointed, and stood straight, with an expression of self-conscious innocence.
3. Why were the writer and his batch-mates ‘thunder-struck’ when Quelch tried to correct Corporal Turnbull?
Ans. Corporal Turnbull was not a man with whom one could play the fool or talk or act frivolously. He was a hero for the squad, and they used to tell each other that nobody could easily take him for granted. As usual, Quelch tried to correct the Corporal when he was delivering a lecture on a grenade. The writer and his batchmates were thunderstruck seeing the foolish and daring act of Quelch, and the consequences he would have to face for it.
4. What do Trower and the writer happen to overhear in the cookhouse?
Ans. While returning from the canteen to their hut, the writer and Trower saw through an open door that the three cooks were standing against the wall as if at bay. They overheard the monotonous voice of Quelch who was giving a lecture to the cooks and protesting against the unscientific and unhygienic methods of peeling potatoes, leading to the waste of vitamins.
5. Why did the writer’s practical jokes and sarcasm prove ineffective against Quelch?
Ans. Day in and day out, Quelch lectured the people in his droning, remorseless voice on every aspect of human knowledge. The practical jokes and sarcasm of the writer and his friends proved to be ineffective towards Quelch because the professor never noticed them as he was too busy working for his stripe.
6. How did Quelch march to the canteen?
Ans. The salute of Professor Quelch at the pay table was a model to behold for everyone. When officers were in sight, he would swing his skinny arms and march to the canteen like a Guard.
7. What was the first impression that Quelch left on the writer and his friends?
Ans. Quelch was lanky, stopping and frowning through horn-rimmed spectacles. The first impression he gave to others was that he was very serious and studious kind of a person. Due to this reason, he came to be known as the professor. Those who had any doubts on the subject lost them after five minutes’ conversation with him.
8. How does Private Quelch show his knowledge as the Sergeant’s classes went on? [CBSE 2011 (Term 2)]
Ans. Private Quelch was highly conceited who could not handle his own knowledge. Knowledge, if used to overshadow and belittle others, can never bring significant gains. The same happened the other day when Sergeant was a delievering lecture on a hand grenade. Private Ouelch interrupted him again and again by giving additional information on the same subject. After the lecture was over, the sergeant assigned him the job of cook house duties to deflate his bloated ego.
9. Why did Private Quelch work so hard to gather knowledge? [CBSE 2011 (Term 2)]
Ans. Private Quelch was very ambitious. He was very competitive and wanted quick promotion. In pursuit of his ambition, he worked very hard. He read a lot, attacked his instructors and on every occasion tried to belittle and overshadow others. He would try to appear exceptional before his seniors. He was diligent, enthusiastic and gifted with excellent memory but his modus operandi was wrong.
10. Private Quelch was incorrigible. How far do you agree with the statement? Give reasons in support of your answer. [CBSE 2011 (Term 2)]
Yes, I agree with the statement that Private Quelch was incorrigible. Although he was brainy, diligent, enthusiastic and gifted with excellent memory his modus operandi
was wrong. He was highly conceited and was very fond of showing off his knowledge. After he offended the corporal and was sent to do cookhouse duties as a punishment, his sermonizing continued even within the four walls of the kitchen.
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